Mondays are for Music: Track 07

One thing that is important to know about Aiden is that he lives on Memory Lane. He is fueled by thoughts of his past, even though he swears up and down that he is unaffected by events prior to the present. But that is because he is a liar. He spends most, if not all of his time alone thinking on the years that have gone by, how they could have gone differently, and why they caused him to be what he is.

So today, I’ll give you a little bit of memory music and, since I haven’t in a while, a little scene to go with. I don’t have an exact place for this moment yet, but it will find its way.

A Message for the Queen (Remembering Marietta) from the film 300.

It reminded him of her. Of course it did. Everything reminded him of her. Aiden pushed his fingers into his hair and stared out into the night. It was cold outside and there was a steady breeze up on the roof that brought a chill to his bones, but still he sat there almost unmoving.

It had been ten years to the day tonight. Had he been a better man he would have been married for ten years tonight. He would have had a son. He’d be six.

Aiden had no desire for children and it was easy to say he didn’t even like them, but like every man, he had pride, and a part of upholding said pride is to bear a son. Children weren’t children for long (he certainly wasn’t) so for the short while that he had to deal with the screaming brat didn’t seem too bad in comparison to the glory that his son would carry on in his name.

Marietta wouldn’t have made a good mother. She wasn’t loving or tender towards children. She didn’t have any desire to destroy her perfect figure or to soil her hands with the dirty work of caring for a baby, but that was what nurses and governesses were for.

That would be it. One child. One son. Their life would have forever consisted of glittering balls, silks, feasts, flashing lights and the whirling, dizzying lifestyle of those most fortunate. He would have provided all of that for her. If there were anything that she ever felt a need for, she would have it. She was his sun, his center, his hope. She had been the only person that ever showed how much she truly cared, that she was honest and good to him, for him, that she was his forever, that she’d never leave like the others had.

But she lied.

So here he was, ten years later on the rooftop of a hidden house, still wondering why. He had it all. He did it all. Why would she leave him? It had been an entire decade and still he wanted to know. He couldn’t live without knowing. Not knowing is what had driven him to become what he was. Aiden Finnegan, The Black Duke. The Black Duke wasn’t a duke at all, but a man who once had the entire world at his disposal. Now he was left with nothing of his own. Now everything came with strings.

He remembered her face. He remembered the way she smiled at him and the way her bottom lip pulled down when she was worried. He remembered seeing her angry. There was something about her when she was angry that he found himself unable to resist. Marietta didn’t have hurricane like fits or large sweeping rants. She was quiet and icy, malicious and cruel. If ever there were a woman who used her position to gain advantage over her enemies, it was Marietta Grace.

But even as similar to Aiden as she was, that wasn’t the reason he loved her. Aiden loved Marietta because in his lowest of lows, she had been there to pick him up, to hold him and whisper her ever gentle, ‘I won’t leave you.’: the mantra that he clung to.

Even as a child she had understood him. She knew to tread delicately around his sour being and never did she consider speaking out of line. She sat before him, stitching lace or practicing her handwriting while she listened to him. Sometimes he wouldn’t say anything at all and neither would she. Simply being in the same room as her gave him peace of mind.

Marietta never challenged him. Aiden’s word was absolute and she knew it. She never whined, complained of even pouted unless the soft change in facial expression was carried out with intent to seduce him. She knew her place (naked, beneath him) and never thought to test it.

As a younger man, Aiden had been cocky. He wasn’t stupid. but he had been too self absorbed in his misery, and confident in his power to realize that there were bigger things going on than his fame and fortune.

Poor bastard. 😦


Alphabet Soup: Twice Brewed

Oops! I forgot about Alphabet soup last week. That’s because Mr. Frenchie and I were in the kitchen having a hobby night. 🙂 (we make candles! It’s super fun!) Tonight I will give you two letters and we’ll see if I can come up with any clever alliterations. We’ll see.

E is for excitement[!]

There is a lot of energy in this series and it comes at us from all angles. Between Aiden’s evasive maneuvers when it comes to Cale, and the exasperating eagerness of Miss Avery to allow her new world to engulf her, our hero and heroine are responsible for a great deal of it. It doesn’t help much that they find themselves entangled in a series of rather bizarre eventsenraging Aiden, and even bringing forth Wentworth’s ever elusive inner demons. Envy becomes a key point in our story, frequently threatening the very existence of all three. Once at ease, they now sleep with one eye open, preparing for the next bloody encounter.

On the other side of the land, empathy for Isabella Avery ensnares our good king and he returns to being the epitome of hopeless romantic, all the while entertaining Philip’s desires for returning his daughter safely. He becomes riddled with euphoria for his newfound paramour, but quickly learns the effects his love has on his bride, enabling a cruel and bitter end.

F is for Fletcher

With his ever present frown and furrowed brows, Aiden’s valet is a lot more fun than I imagined. He has served the Finnegan family for more than four decades, and his age is nearly twice the years he has attended them. Though he is often frosty and rigid in his ways, he has a fondness for Luke, who intendeds to fix Aiden. His appearance is that of a frail old man, though he is anything but. Deducing liars is his forte, (a great asset to his master, who is often too busy to deal with peons), but should a fight ensue, he is well trained in firearms, possessing a finesse much like Aiden’s and enabling him to fend for himself and the freight that they are moving should the situation call for it.

Fletcher does not take kindly to fools, and he counts Wentworth among such beings. He has little use for fanciful adornments and flamboyant clothing, but when one tends to the person that is Aiden Finnegan, this is expected. He is one of the few people alive that knows all of Aiden’s frightening past and faces it head on when his master can not. He is loyal to a fault, but does facilitate Luke’s efforts because he honestly believes that Aiden does deserve a fraction of happiness, even when the rest of the world disagrees.

Mondays are For Music: Track 06

I know I didn’t get around to Alphabet Soup on Saturday night, so to make up for that, I’ll do two letters this coming Saturday. 🙂
The track we have for today is from my favorite anime series Wolf’s Rain. Again, like everything else I love, the score is just phenomenal.

This piece, My Little Flower (re-named A Bath) is a gentle piece, delicate and romantic, set to Aiden & Luke’s first kiss. Now, just because this scene happens to be soft and tender, let’s not lose ourselves and think they will have a healthy relationship in any way.

They will, however, have times when they are at peace with themselves and with each other, giving way to scenes with very little bloodshed and scathing words. This happens to be one of them. 🙂

What Does November Mean to You?

It’s the first of the month, which means rent is due, you’ll have another shot at earning employee of the month, retail workers need to be on their best behavior for the new secret shopper (“new month, new shop!” Boy am I glad to be done hearing that one), and you’ll want to stay as far away from Wal Mart as humanly possible.

But it isn’t just the first of the month. It’s November! And everyone knows that November is marathon month. Why they picked November I’ll never know. Why not March? Nothing exciting ever happens in March.

So what does this mean for you?

National Novel Writing Month

Perhaps you are a NaNo-er. You’ve spent all of October drafting outlines, researching worlds and scouring for the perfect name to fit the characters in your new novel. Now it’s go-time! Take advantage of your sick days, drain yourself of your vacation days (the new year is almost upon us anyway) and get those words on paper, or processor.

As I’ve previously stated, I won’t be participating this year, but I support everyone who is! Are you? I’d love to hear about your new novel. If you’re tracking your process in a blog, leave me the link and I’ll be sure to keep tabs on you and whip you into shape every now and then. 🙂


Maybe you’re a gent. Maybe you’re a Mo Bro. If so, good for you! Movember is most definitely appropriately placed on the calendar, giving the men of the world a month to not only raise awareness for prostate cancer and other illnesses that target males, but to make up for all the pink they wore in October in support of Breast Cancer awareness.

Movember is one month where us ladies not fond of the mustaches our men grow (Mr. Frenchie’s beard is much nicer than his mustache), can put aside our distaste and sit there and say, “yeah honey! You grow that mustache!”

Movember is not to be confused with No Shave November. Movember is for your mustaches only! Be sure to click the logo above for information, statistics, and how to get involved. Documenting your ‘mo? Link me! I want to see them. 😀

This is what I look like when I don’t shave for a week.

NO SHAVE NOVEMBER! This is something we can all participate in! No Shave November is more about laziness and fun. And growing the greatest beard. While Noshember itself does not raise awareness for one specific cause, Noshemberers themselves are active in gathering funds and gathering fellow do good-ers.

I want to joke that I’ll toss my razor aside for the month and let my legs fluff out (It’s jeans and sweater tight weather! Who would know?), but Mr. Frenchie would undoubtedly come in and argue that it would be no different than any other month. 😦 That said, I’ll probably end up participating by accident. (Honestly, I spend most of the hot water dreaming up new scenes for The Noble Project.)

Are you forgoing shaving? Link me! I want to see beards and furry legs! I’ll even get a giggle out of your armpits ladies, when you look like something out of Jack Dawson’s sketchbook! 😀 Just please don’t document anything naughty. :3

I live for this guy

For me, November 1st means a lot of different things. First, a new month of word count, as depicted above. Seriously, I love that app. I’m hoping to exceed that 10k this month like I have for the past 3 (October finished with over 18k wohoo!) so I can keep myself ahead of schedule, start editing, and giving the first draft to other sets of eyes to point out my horrific typos and contradictions.

Secondly, it’s the month of… THANKSGIVING! Which means I will be at Target & JoAnn Fabrics at least twice a week gathering cute Turkey decor for my home. Additionally, I will be scouring various locations for clearance Halloween merch. It is also the month of Black Friday which is something I am not sure I am participating in or not. The Christmas gifts I’m giving are mostly handmade, so aside from Merlo & Mr. Frenchie, I don’t have much shopping to do.

Third, I’ve got to make and send out invitations to our annual Christmas Party! That’s always a fun time, but I don’t even have ideas yet.

Also, it’s the month of Aiden’s birthday! It’s Nov. 7th, and if he were around today, he would be turning Two Hundred Fifty-Seven. The absolute epitome of miserable old man. In his world, he’ll be Twenty-Nine, though when TNP begins, his birthday has already passed because Luke is already freaking out about  her excitement for Christmas. I don’t think he could handle the attention she would shower him with if she were to be with them to celebrate his birthday.

Maybe next year, for the big 3-0 haha

In honor of marathon month, I’m going to leave you all with a wallpaper I made up for The Noble Project because working on it felt like a marathon. I really enjoy digital painting, even if I haven’t quite grasped it (in school I avoided all of my 2-D classes. Therein lies the problem), but every now and then I break out the tablet and play around in photoshop to improve my skills.

Enjoy! Click for downloadable size. Resolution 1280×800

That smirk is trouble.

Mondays are for Music: Track 05

I’m going to try and get this one out super fast while I still have internet access. Sandy’s a’comin’ and it doesn’t appear that she will be too gentle with us.

Track five of my unofficial soundtrack is a piece that comes from one of my absolute favourite animated films: Anastasia. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s only $5 at Target, so get on that! It’s a big part of my inspiration for TNP. (and Dimitri is pretty smokin’ =P)

It is a lighthearted piece, fitting our trio’s visit to Mr. Espott quite well. It’s light and delicate, adhering to the frilly feminine atmosphere of the dress shop. The peppiness of the wind instruments compliment Mr. Espott’s comic lament, but then it softens into nostalgia and the hope that the old man has for Luke’s relationship with the ever dreary Mr. Finnegan.

That’s all out of me today– I need to go bake some muffins before I lose power! 😀

Speaking of Sophie a.k.a. The Dress Shop

Alphabet Soup: D is for Deception

Week four. The D word. Deception is one of my favourite topics because it is made of lies. Lies are messy and messy makes for pretty stories. Much like tuberculosis and trigger happy douchebags, however, deception is best kept in the fiction realm where it can’t actually hurt anybody.

Entangled in the web of lies that is The Noble Project, is just about every character. Luke, always the most obvious, allows her dreams to lead her to believe what Aiden & Wentworth have to say. Isabella is lost to her own delusions, Aiden lives in denial, Wentworth disguises himself in order to better serve his own desires, and Cale is so desperate to right his wrongs, that he doesn’t see where his attention has been diverted. Xander, of course, is the guru, the Don of deception, dishonest, and pulls off the most masterfully executed double-crossing any of these characters have ever seen. Delicious. 🙂

That was a difficult letter. Eh.

On a different note, the Frankenstorm is headed my way and should be arriving on Tuesday. Hopefully it won’t be so bad and I’ll be able to keep all of my internet access. If not, I’ll see you when it comes back. As far as I know, Monday’s post will be on schedule. 😀

How to Charm a Lady – The Finnegan Way

Even though it is safe to say that Wentworth is the comic relief of this series, it is oftentimes the things that Aiden says that have me laughing the most. He’s just so uncaring and thoughtless in his speech, and most of his disdain is directed at women, leading me to wonder how it is he manages to find himself in the good graces of any of them.

But then, perhaps his attitude is his charm, so I gathered up a bunch of his words of wooing, but I don’t advise anyone to tuck them away as pickup lines. Someone might call the police.

“Do not mistake favoritism for friendship,” he snarled, tightening his grip, “you mean one thing to me.”

He scoffed, crossing his arms and leaning up against the wall. “You? I thought only I could make you tremble in fear.”

“I won’t save you. Should Xander choose to kill you, I will find another with your talents.”

“Are you ill, Miss?”

Luke nodded and Aiden let out a disgusted grunt. “Brilliant start to a new life as a delicate lady, don’t you think?”

Snapping her head up and forcing back a cry of pain, she glowered at him. “I have never been on a boat before,” she said testily.

“It’s a ship,” he corrected blandly.

“It will be easier to be rid of your fleas.”

“Curiosity is healthy.” She was gripping the edge of the ship now, leaning backwards, her heels the only things keeping her vertical. She really was a child.

“It kills cats, I hear,” he replied, with little emotion.

    “I have never considered myself a gentleman, Miss Avery.”

“I’ve half a mind to let you stay there,” he replied, checking his timepiece, “but fortunately for you, I am not permitted to leave you in dirty barns.”

    Luke grabbed the back of Aiden’s jacket and tugged hard, letting out a low hiss. “Are you on good terms with anyone?”

His reply was short and simple. “No.”

Aiden nodded, but dismissed her father quickly. “I wasn’t aware that you were literate.”

Offended, Luke’s eyebrows knit together as she frowned and spun around, giving him her back. “That is very rude,” she said, dipping the nib fiercely into the blotter.

“I am rarely polite,” he said offhandedly.

“People don’t marry for love, Miss Avery,” he said coldly, staring up at her

    “You trust me.”

She nodded and he lit another cigarette.

“Then I will be your undoing, Miss Avery.”

“Arrogance is in my blood,” he told her, “it’s the Finnegan way, you see.”

“You’d never be able to learn,” he said, moving to stand behind her. Without much thought, he leaned over, stretching his arms over her shoulders, and placing his large, weathered hands over her own petite ones, “Your hands are too small.”

Aiden noticed her discomfort and smiled. “Come now, Miss Avery. Do not tell me you’ve never been victim to a proper flogging.”

“Did you shoot your father?”

With one hand on the small of her back, he nudged her forward. He had no more use for this room.

“No, I poisoned him.”

“I had no brothers,” he replied, a flat fact. “and if you even so much as think to to hold me accountable for my sister’s death, I will splatter your insides down these stairs.”

Ah, what a ladies man.